Materials Design and Development

Module code: ED7010

Module co-ordinator: Julie Norton

In this module you will study the pedagogical and practical issues related to the development of language teaching materials. We will focus on the development of English language teaching (ELT) materials, although the underlying principles are relevant for languages other than English. You will develop the knowledge and the skills necessary to evaluate, adapt and produce ELT materials.

We will explore key concepts and current issues in materials design and development, such as the future of coursebooks in the digital era, authenticity, varieties of English, and the use of visuals with different groups of learners. We will also consider appropriate content for language teaching materials (e.g. cultural content in coursebooks, representation of different social groups, and the range of topics that are typically covered). We will discuss ideological debates surrounding representation and taboos.

The evaluation of teaching materials is another important component of the course. You will compare different frameworks for evaluating materials and evaluate recently published global ELT coursebooks.

The writing process itself also comes under scrutiny. We will discuss a framework for materials writing, how to work productively as a member of a writing team, the publication process, and the piloting process.

We will also explore the role of coursebooks and controversies surrounding the use of coursebooks, investigating current trends in published materials and future directions in materials development. Throughout the module you will reflect upon the interface between theory and practice in materials design; for example, how research on the spoken language has impacted on speaking tasks in coursebooks.

Learning

  • 7 two-hour lectures
  • one-hour seminar

Assessment

  • Either: Assignment, 2,500 words plus a design for a sample of language teaching materials (100%)
  • Or: Assignment and materials evaluation, 3,000 words (100%)